26 October 2012

Audiobook Friday #4 - Review: Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel

Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel

Published: 7 August 2012 by Doubleday

Pages: 304 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Romance

Source: Own library

Audio published: 7 August 2012 by Random House Audio

Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne (narrator of Gone Girl, Cloud Atlas, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist)

Length: 11 hours & 53 minutes

Check it out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository ~ Audible


Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.

When Meredith's grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It's not supernatural, it's computer science.

Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can't let go.

In the meantime, Sam and Meredith's affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can't live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to? This entertaining novel, delivers a charming and bittersweet romance as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated). Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.

My Thoughts

What if you could have one last conversation with someone you loved that has passed away? Knowing that it's not 'really' that person, but just a computer stimulation built up from your previous electronic communications, would you still want to see their face again, tell them you loved them one more time?

This is the basic plot of Goodbye For Now, but also incorporates the love story of Sam, a computer geek who loses his job after creating the most accurate dating database program ever, and his colleague Meredith who is his perfect match.

Goodbye For Now is an interesting story, although in some places I didn't really feel the intensity of Meredith and Sam's relationship and in fact it felt more like Sam was the one willing to go to the ends of the earth for Meredith, whereas she was just enamored by the fact that he gave her the impossible. While I liked both of them, the one that really intrigued me was Meredith's cousin Dash but he just didn't appear as often as I would have liked.

Most interesting and moving of all was the secondary characters that were dotted throughout the story, whether they stayed for just a portion or in the background of the whole book. These were actually the characters that made the book come alive for me.

The plot is pretty straightforward, but as the story of Sam, Meredith and the people that used RePose progressed, it morphed into a very bittersweet story of love, loss and all the emotions that come in between. The ending was particularly touching, if a little bit predictable.

I listened to Goodbye for Now on Audiobook, but I believe I made an error in listening to two books back-to-back that had the same narrator because it did take me a while to really get into it. Otherwise, this was a good listen, that I did really enjoy.


  1. I had some problems with the characters in this one too. But for me it wasn't just Meredith. I kinda didn't like any of them, but mostly just because I felt RePose was a REALLY bad idea so I had a hard time relating to any of the characters. Though I really did love the story and writing. Great review, Kat.

    1. It's a pretty prickly subject and coupled with characters that I didn't fall in love with, it was pretty disappointing!

  2. I think this book would be somewhat frustrating for me because I feel like though Sam's intentions were noble, there just isn't any good that can come from RePose. Realistically, I feel like more harm than good would be done and I think I'd have a hard time overlooking that factor.

    Was the audio reader any good, at least?

  3. Hmmm...sounds like a frustrating read...1st I wouldn't agree with what they were doing and 2nd I might not connect with any of them?



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